My reply to the "Search for Christmas" article by Mark Terry:
I've enjoyed reading your new column articles, and especially this current
one. I'd make a grand display of welcoming you and stuff, but I hardly think
my own attendance record is such that I can really welcome anyone. Suffice
it to say that I enjoy your articles.
Anyways, this current one challenged us to go with our "inner Jesus" as it
were, to interpret the christmas holiday, and see if we feel it really goes
with what Jesus would want. A sort of "what would jesus do" kinda' thing.
I'm not a hardcore religeous guy by ANY stretch of the imagination, but I'm
responding to the spirit of article and thought I'd share my own opinion on
how someone like God/Jesus would view the christmas season, based on Him
being remotely similar to what the bible teaches.
Hopefully this kind of thing doesn't bother anyone as I treat the subject
From my Jesus:
Well, you're partially right, I like the thought of people trying to buy
each other stuff as "an outward sign of inward and spiritual"
friendship/companionship/etc. It's a lot like the concept of communion.
A lot of the badness that surrounds it, like what you mentioned about
stealling parking spaces is covered by my "love thy neighbors as thyselves"
Don't forget that when Dad passed the laws to Moses, there weren't a whole
lot of parking spaces to be stolen. So to add the clauses: "Thou shalt not
steal parking spaces. Nor shalt thou perform victory dances, when besting
an opponent in a fair race to one." That might have been a bit confusing to
Moses and his bunch back then. Sure, it'd seem fairly funny to you guys
now, but chances are, they'd have stoned Moses for making up silly stuff.
Oh well, chances are it just would have been misinterpreted anyways.
It doesn't please me to see people being so aggressive against each other,
forgetting that all of you guys are in the same boat. Nothing excuses that
type of selfish behavior, because everyone has their own pressing concerns.
However, the actual Christmas concepts I agree with, and to be fair, both
sides of the coin should be looked at.
The materialistic aspect is not always a bad one, depending upon the intents
of the people involved. Sometimes to outwardly show a sign of a great deal
of love for someone, sacrifices are made to obtain things for them. Or in
other words, it creates a situation where the love and caring is
demonstrated in both the obtaining, and giving of the gift.
A good example is the Tickle me Elmo doll from awhile back. The doll flew
off the shelves. The people that thought ahead and extended suitable effort
in arriving at stores early in the morning, or late at night, managed to get
one. Also, those that REALLY wanted one were able to obtain it by giving
away large sums of money. To me, this is an effective demonstration, and
potentially a wake-up call to those who procrastinate, or are idle in their
efforts to please the ones they love as they take things for granted.
The other thing, which goes hand-in-hand with gift giving is the surge of
attention that charities recieve. In fact there are people who even
purchased Tickle me Elmo dolls and presented them in "toys for tots" drives.
To me, the show of effort, and perseverence, especially because it's for
absolute strangers are invaluable in awakening people to the fact that
someone really DOES care about them and is attempting to provide a comfort
for them that they will never be able to thank them for.
Sure, large companies are making money from the holiday. This is as it will
be. Large companies are people who are reaping the benefits from the seeds
they have sown. Obviously, the morally bankrupt are sometimes involved with
this, but it is not for you to judge. Dad will take care of them.
The other thing I don't like is when the act of purchasing goods and giving
them to someone is to act as a replacement for truly caring for them, and/or
giving them the personal attention that true compassion calls for.
This isn't a fault of the holiday, it's the fault of the society where these
people were never made to see this truth.
As for the "problem" of people attending churches on my birthday in the
hopes that it will wash away the sins of the whole year... Well, I'm sorry
to disappoint the folks that are there every week, but it does. This is
what repenting is all about. Granted, it's a bit of a get out of jail free
card, but me and Dad are just glad that people are reminded to rejoin the
church, however briefly, so that they may hear more of our word. We know
what's in your hearts, so if you're just trying to apply a fresh coat of
paint over your sins, your sin remains.
I never figured out why they moved my birthday anyways. Sure, there were
already Roman 7-day Saturnalia celebrations marking the end of the year and
winter solstice, but why did the catholic church decide to take over the
festival, and instead of rallying against the heathen holiday, moved my
birthday around to kinda' say, "Hey! look we Christians party too! but we do
it for Jesus." I suppose they wanted to celebrate at the same time everyone
else was celebrating, because, well any other option would have been a bit
As pagans celebrated the death of the old year, and the coming birth of the
new year, they were really just giving themselves a landmark to look forward
to and a reason to celebrate by showing their caring for one another. My
Dad never really had a problem with that, but you know.. no other gods but
me. We kinda' had to do SOMETHING.. It was a time where the only thing that
kept people alive through the winter was the ability to get along with their
families as they essentially locked themselves in their homes at this time
of year. You guys had it pretty rough before the whole electricity and car
thing. The celebrations helped facilitate people living together in
harmony. That's exactly what me and dad want.. So I guess our church
recognized that and decided to do something exactly like it, and moved my
birthday there as the excuse.
Of course our Protestant church worked hard to remove the paganism of the
holiday. However, a lot of the pagan symbols have survived, such the
mistletoe plant beleived to have magical properties including, but not
limited to, the increase in fertility as bestowed by "the old gods". This
kind of thing isn't important anymore, if only for the fact that most people
who include mistletoe and other pagan symbols don't understand their
origins, and use it as a part of the celebration of me, and as a way of
entertaining themselves in my name.
It's all good...be excellent to each other, and PARTY ON DUDES!
Mike "Deadguy" Scott
I was at lunch with a friend and I told her about a place my parents frequently took me to on vacations when I was growing up and that I had not thought about in years. So, when I got back to the office I decided to do an internet search and came across your site http://www.crazedfanboy.com/npcr/letterspcr266.html#will. I could hardly believe what I was reading! I did not know anyone else even remembered this place in Clearwater but you did and someone named Michelle Kissel in Chicago did. It was like a dreamland to me to go there every time. I remember the corn fritters and the tall glasses with the brightly colored drinks and the seven dining rooms and the gardens and fountains. I still have two of those glasses. My parents still have a picture they took back in the '70s on their wedding anniversary in the gazebo of the one at Fort Lauderdale. It makes me sad to think that such fabulous places like that are not there anymore. Oh, and I was so excited also to find the recipe for the fritters. http://www.recipesource.com/fgv/vegetables/corn/00/rec0042.html.
I also wanted to say that I have no idea who you are or where I am writing to. Are you a writer for a newspaper? I guess I would like to know that before you publish this. Ok, well thanks for reading this rather lengthy e-mail.
Nolan here, thanks so much for writing! Yes, this is the correct address to be considered for publication in the Letters to the Editor section of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review", an online e-zine published by Crazed Fanboy.com. The reply to a letter you referenced is by staff writer and author William Moriaty. I forwarded your email to him and his response is below. We sincerely appreciate your correspondence, so please include your proper name next time so we may include it at the end of your letter! --Nolan
WILLIAM MORIATY RESPONDS:
Thank you for your heart warming comments and sharing of memories. I went to the Kapok Tree in Clearwater on several occaisions, my favorite of which was around Christmas of 1984 when my late sister did photo shots of my girlfriend's high heels (a photo in which she tinted the high heels red and titled i "Make A Wish"), along with photos called "night sculptures" of the statues that adorned the outer patio.
It was indeed a enchanting place to be, leaving me with magical memories.
Here's wishing you a safe and blessed Holiday Season and New Year.